Holiday Pay Entitlement

Supreme Court ends British Gas holiday pay challenge

Thousands of working people – whose wages include an element of commission – will now be quids in following the Supreme Court decision today (Tuesday) to refuse British Gas the right to appeal in the Joe Lock holiday pay case, says UNISON.

But the union has warned that the decision, based on the Working Time Directive, could be at risk if the UK government opts for a hard Brexit.

Last autumn, the Court of Appeal found in favour of the UNISON-backed case, but British Gas’s decision to continue its challenge meant employees across the UK have had to wait a little longer to learn the outcome.

But now anyone whose wages include an element of commission can no longer be paid less when they are on annual leave. The amount employees get for their holiday must be based on both their basic pay and any commission they earn.

Commenting on the Supreme Court decision, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “It’s taken nearly five years to get here, but now all employees who earn commission will see that reflected in their holiday pay.

“Until now, many whose wages included commission lost a lot of money whenever they took a holiday. Many simply couldn’t afford to go away. Today’s decision puts right that wrong.

“But this is an employment right based on a European directive, something that could well disappear once the UK finds itself outside the EU. The government must prove it’s on the side of ordinary workers by showing how it’s going to protect all rights such as these.”